- AARP - http://blog.aarp.org -
Staggering Stories of Jamaican Lottery Scams
Posted By Deb Silverberg On March 11, 2013 @ 3:12 pm In Money Talk | Comments Disabled
Advocacy groups, government officials and the media - most recently, venerable newsman Dan Rather - are shining a light on this despicable form of fraud and the devastating consequences on elderly victims and their families.
These criminals tend to prey on seniors with fixed incomes – people who can least afford to lose their savings, or their home. That happened to Norman Breidenbaugh, profiled in this Baltimore Sun article . He is one of several people whose stories are part of an in-depth investigation via Dan Rather Reports  called “Just Hang Up,” which premiered Tuesday, March 12 on AXS TV .
Dan Rather and his team traveled to Jamaica where the scammers have set up a thriving organized-crime network to prey on unsuspecting Americans. What he does he think of the perpetrators? “These con artists are cowards who prey on the most vulnerable members of society.”
The Dan Rather Reports team hopes that their investigation will lead to more awareness and fewer victims, and they’ve made “Just Hang Up” available for free viewing here via iTunes.
Although there are dozens of foreign fraud schemes , the Jamaican lottery scam alone bilks vulnerable seniors of hundreds of millions of dollars a year according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Also staggering: statistics from the FTC indicate that 92% of these victims never come forward.
Consumer advocates and government officials and agencies are encouraged that there is more awareness about this this crime and how it can be prevented. The topic is being addressed at a Wednesday, March 13 hearing before the Senate Select Committee on Aging, and AARP President Rob Romasco will testify about the heartbreak these criminals have caused elderly victims.
“We need to keep the discussion going,” adds Doug Shadel, AARP Washington State Director and a leading national expert on fraud schemes targeting the elderly. “It’s worth having a conversation with people you care about who fit the profile of a victim. ”
Think an elderly neighbor, friend or relative might be vulnerable? Share the media coverage about this issue, and:
If someone does call, the title of Dan Rather’s show says it all: Just hang up.
More information and resources:
Watch Dan Rather Reports: “Just Hang Up” (full episode) 
Photo Credit: Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
Article printed from AARP: http://blog.aarp.org
URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2013/03/11/staggering-stories-of-jamaican-lottery-scams/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.aarp.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/240-dan-rather-jamaican-scam-money.jpg
 article: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-03-06/news/bs-md-lottery-fraud-20130306_1_lottery-fraud-jamaican-lottery-sweepstakes-scams
 Dan Rather Reports: http://www.axs.tv/programs/danrather/
 AXS TV: http://www.axs.tv/subscribe/
 here : http://bit.ly/13VFyE8
 foreign fraud schemes: http://www.deliveringtrust.com/
 Image: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0cXyl3xdjQ
 www.aarp.org/protectyourfinances: http://www.aarp.org/ws/AARP-Investor-Protection.html
 Scams and Fraud: http://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/
Copyright © 2013 AARP. All rights reserved.